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Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

The following pyramid is based on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, although it has been modified slightly to fit into a more academic context. The idea is that if one of the bottom layers of the pyramid (representing a need) is in trouble, then a person typically becomes distracted from addressing the needs represented by the layers above.

In particular, if you are a student taking a math class, and you are not doing well, you should ask yourself whether one of the more basic needs below math is not being met. Something many students are not aware of is that Central Michigan University puts a lot of resources into making sure that precisely these needs do not become issues with their students. And, if these more basic needs are okay, there are further resources to help you with math.

Click the text in each layer of the pyramid in order to go to the appropriate list of resources that CMU and/or Mount Pleasant offers. The associated text has been gathered from the websites linked to, as well as from a statement by the CMU Multicultural, Diversity, and Educational Council. (Thanks to Doug Lapp for the idea of incorporating Maslow's Pyramid into the classroom, and for information on some of the off-campus resources.)

Food and Housing

One in three CMU students report being hungry without immediate means to satisfy that hunger. This makes learning and succeeding in college difficult. CMU has a food pantry located on north campus that provides free supplemental food assistance to students. Distribution of food will take place every Tuesday 5-7pm, Wednesday 3-5pm, and Friday 12-2pm. Appointments are also available by contacting You can visit their website by clicking the button to the left for more information about the food pantry and meeting other basic needs.

Another place within walking distance of campus is the Community Compassion Network. Check their website for times that they are open and how to make an appointment.

If you need emergency shelter in Isabella County, the ICRH is available. Their intake location is 120 South Pine Street in Mount Pleasant. You must check in between 4:30pm and 5:45pm. Click on the button to the left to visit their website for more information.


Security is taken in a broad sense: personal security, emotional security, health, accessibility, and financial security are required in order to focus on your goals.

The CMU Police Department works in partnership with the entire campus community in order to maintain a safe and secure living and learning environment. If your personal security is at risk or has been compromised, you should call 911 in case of an emergency, or click on the button to the left to go to the CMU Police website.

It is important to take care of your emotional well-being, but students often experience mental health challenges that make learning difficult. If you find that life stresses such as increased anxiety, feeling down, strained relationships, suffering a loss, or dealing with a personal struggle are interfering with your academic or personal success, please consider contacting the CMU Counseling Center at Foust 102 by calling 774-3381 for free, confidential counseling services. Click the button to the left for more information and other resources.

CMU Health provides acute care and other specialty services for CMU students away from home, including same-day appointments. Visit their website by clicking on the button to the left for a list of their services and more information.

CMU provides students with disabilities reasonable accommodations to participate in educational programmes, activities or services. Students with disabilities requiring accommodations to participate in class activities or meet course requirements should register for services through Student Disability Services, 120 Park Library, 989-774-3018. For more information, visit their website by clicking on the button to the left.

The majority of college students experience some type of financial insecurity at some point, whether from lack of steady income to housing insecurity to confusion about debt or financial aid. These stresses can impact their lives on campus, but students do not need to navigate these challenges on their own. The Financial Wellness Collaborative, located in Bovee UC 116A, offers one-to-one Peer Coaching for students to talk about scholarships, budgeting, credit and debt, paying back school loans, any many other financial issues. They are a first-stop resource for students who are feeling overwhelmed or confused about their financial situations. For more information, go to their website by clicking on the button to the left.

The Office for Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is responsible for university policy and campus initiatives which support CMU's commitment to transforming as a fully inclusive institution.


Human beings typically are social creatures, and crave social interaction. If this is you, get involved! Besides the Office of Student Activities & Involvement, there are specific groups specifically for the LGBTQ community, veterans, and others. For LGBTQ community members in STEM majors and fields, there is also the CMU local oSTEM chapter (Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).


One obstacle many students face, often unknowingly, is a loss of perspective of the bigger picture. It is easy to get bogged down in pushing for the best grades, and/or being involved in many extra curricular activities. Is burning yourself out really a path to success? What does success even mean? If you are starting to burn out, perhaps you should make an appointment with an academic advisor or success coach.


Reaching your full potential will probably need some help along the way. CMU has the resources to provide you with just that. In fact, this is true not just for studying mathematics, but any field.